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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday - On Political Thrillers

I am putting the finishing touches on The Pendulum Files, the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, before it leaves my hands for the editor's. The book is a political thriller and as I've seen events play out with the government shut-down in America, I am reminded once more of how polarized our country has become and how important it is to resist the temptation to convert fans to a particular point of view.

For the record, I am an Independent. I thoroughly research each candidate I vote for, whether they are local or national. I look at their past voting record, the bills they've sponsored or blocked, and I look for candidates who I believe will place America on the best track. I often vote for both Republicans and Democrats in the same election (for different posts, of course) and I do not believe in partisan politics.

When I write my political thrillers, I am very much aware of the divide in this country. I know if I made the bad guy either Republican or Democrat, I would lose half my fans in either case. I don't believe readers have come to my books to learn of my political leanings or affiliations, so I check them at the door. What I believe does not matter within the pages of my books.

When writing political thrillers, I am careful not to mention party affiliations for either the good or the bad characters. I stay away from polarizing topics in which readers can guess which party the characters follow. I look at democracy as a whole and those things we as Americans hold dear - and also those things we fear.

But I have to admit, I long for the old days when politicians would reach across the aisle and compromise for the good of the nation. We need to stop identifying ourselves as this party or the other. We just need to be Americans and learn to work together.